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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Liturgy for Morning Prayer, Upper Room Worshipbook

Today’s Reflection

WE ADVENT people are crying out in this wilderness, trying to prepare the way in our own lives, trying to make a place, a holy space for the coming of the Christ child. We are called to prepare the way in the wilderness of pre-Christmas chaos, where rushed schedules and commercial chatter drown out silence and prayers. And hope goes with us, is with us, in this wilderness of chaos. Hope becomes a critical part of our Advent survival kit, guiding us through the distractions, reminding us of our single task: to prepare the way.

—Beth A. Richardson, The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas  (Upper Room Books, 2009)

Today’s Question

What practices help you prepare the way for the Christ child?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“As it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”

—Luke 3:4 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Clear away the clutter, O God, that I might have more room for you.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room .

Something More

Slow down, simplify, and add a burst of color to your Advent. The spiritual practice of coloring mandalas (circular designs), lighting candles, and praying regularly can help us stay centered on God during this busy time of year. Give it a try. Color as you pray this Advent season.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

12 Comments

  • Jill Posted December 10, 2019 4:41 am

    This past weekend – I was able to take quite a bit of time in the morning, unrushed, sitting in stillness, using a few Advent resources and thinking of the time leading up to Christmas. At some point Sunday morning, I realized and confessed that my initial stance was to “just get through” these holidays. To endure the pain of seeing my father ache, to just kinda check off days/activities on the list and make it past Christmas. To steel myself, as best I could, to not be too emotional. And then, following the service on Sunday afternoon – an additional level of peace came over me. And after sitting with that for quite awhile – I now know that I must not shut myself off to my truest emotions, but live them and lay them before His feet. For then – I will also be open to His comfort…His comfort and joy. And they can be mine. For He is mine. Thank You, Father.
    So – I will ask Him to help me be aware of when I feel like putting up barriers, wanting to run from the emotions. And I will trust He will be there with me, making all things new. Yes, of course, He will.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 10, 2019 8:46 pm

      May God’s comforting presence be so close to you and your dad, Jill!

      Blessings!

  • Julie Posted December 10, 2019 8:19 am

    Reading the UR Devotional, reading the UR Reflection and our comments, gazing at the UR Sight Psalm, watching the Mister Roger’s movie and spending time with mty daughter making cookies and fudge (hopefully, time willing) and spending the holiday with rarely seen relatives are all ways to make way for the joy that is Christ’s birth. I intend to buy the Mister Roger’s movie and rewatch as one of my holiday movie traditions. I also think the Peanuts Christmas special is an example of slowing down and letting God’s light and joy transform even my damaged soul.
    Prayers for Jill as she expereinces both sorrow and peace. Yes, if we avoid painful emotions and the grieving process it will make itself known in other ways and times.
    Prayers for Rick and his husband as God and we hold them in this time of waiting.
    Prayers for Robert, may travel be safe and the counselling be successful.
    Prayers for Mary, may her joy and light shine to the world as a beacon of God’s own.
    Prayers for Marcy, may she be safe and well.
    Prayers for Connie and her family members, may God ease their physical ailments.
    Prayers for April, BJ and Lou and their loved ones.
    Prayers and thank UR

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 10, 2019 8:23 pm

      May the Lord bless your health and soul, Julie!

      Thank you so much for always praying for us!

      You are always in my prayers too!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 10, 2019 9:11 am

    Going carolling to spread the good news and God’s love this Christmas. Our family will also celebrate Christmas and the joy of Christmas shopping. A time of reflection and giving thanks to God for all the blessings and challenges that had helped me to grow spiritually.

    Thanks everyone for your prayers!

    Praying for your spiritual and physical well being.

    May we declutte our minds and make room to be prepared for Christ’s second coming!

  • Marcy Posted December 10, 2019 1:48 pm

    I am thankful for a roof over my head, food to eat (hopefully, as I have no helper), my cat, Lucy and the UR family and friends, sent by God. Every year, I read about people rushing around shopping, going to various parties or meetings, and I sit home with no ability to do these things. I’d love to buy gifts for others, but don’t have enough money to pay my own bills. I’d love to be able to get out and do things, but have no way of doing so. As much as Christmas is not about these things, those who have the ability to do them shouldn’t take it for granted. Thankfully, all this time I have, allows for lots of Bible study and reading when my vision is clear. I also am doing a daily Advent study. For the past week and a half, I’ve been very sick, with a high temperature and have been using the nebulizer each day. Lots of challenges without my helper, but the time I spend with God each day is a lifesaving experience. Thank You, Lord, for caring for each of us so well.

    Praying for all in the UR family each day, rejoicing while listening to music, and grateful to God for His many blessings!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 10, 2019 8:25 pm

      May God bless you with good health and may all your needs be met, Marcy!

      You are always in my prayers too!

  • robert moeller Posted December 10, 2019 1:51 pm

    My Deutsche Krippe, German Nativity Scene, since the 1980s has been a tradition to prepare for the coming of Emanuel, God with us, the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. The past few years Advent Bible study has become a part of my preparation.

    Going to concerts with Christmas music, watching the Polar Express, and other tv programs are important. Not to forget the daily UR Reflection. I try to help others as well.

    Had a safe trip down to Boston and back, not sure I got the help I need, have some more ideas, you don’t stop in the middle of the trip and give up. Thankfully, I will recoup some of the money I spent. Help with mental health is not inexpensive.

    Wonderful plans and thoughts, Jill, on how to deal with this Christmas and help both you and your Dad. Prayers for God’s peace to both of you. I echo
    Julie’s thoughts and prayers.

    Recovering after yesterday’s trip. Have done errands and been to Bible study.
    The peace of Christ be with you all. Thank You, Jesus.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 10, 2019 8:34 pm

      May God bless you with a healthy mind and may Erich be blessed with a suitable job!

  • Rick Posted December 10, 2019 11:11 pm

    Practices that help you prepare the way for the Christ child. Daily Prayer and Meditation and readings. I’m dong an Advent mediation as well from YouVersion this year. Decluttering of my mind and surroundings.
    I do enjoy this time of year finding ways to volunteer and ways to give back to the community. Especially with all that is going on throughout the month with activities at church and our city
    I’m Happy to share that Scott’s visit to his Surgeon went well. It turns out his Laboratory results where mis-interpreted. I’m deeply gratful for this news. Thank you all for your Prayers.
    Being a nurse i was quickly reminded that many others are suffering and find the Holidays difficult and painful so my thoughts and prayers go out to healthcare providers and social services. For all those who are struggling especially our elderly and those that are unhoused and are in need. Be they be Blessed this Christmas season.

    Jill, what an amazing epiphany, He will! Thank you for sharing your experiece of the Holy Spirit working your life. Continued prayers for your dad during this period of grief.
    Julie, Prayers for you and your family this Season of Advent. May your Holidays be Blessed for you and your family. May your light always shine bright.
    Marcy, dispite hard times you are enduing and a Blessing to all especially me. Praying your health improves and your vision remains clear, As we prepare a way.
    Robert, praying your ideas will be fruitful and you will find the help or guidance you are seeking.
    Continued Prayers for Mary, Lou, Connie, April, BJ and all the UR visitors.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 11, 2019 2:16 am

    Thank you Rick!

    May God bless you and your husband abundantly!

  • Tracy Matt Posted December 17, 2019 9:01 pm

    I’m so excited my husband is back after he left me for another woman. My husband was having an affair with a co-worker and i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with his co-worker and this girl i think use witchcraft or black magic on my husband to make him hate me and this was so critical and uncalled-for, I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to bring back my boyfriend! I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex-boyfriend back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it, then he did a love spell for me. 11hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so happy, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr.Unity, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the here. if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Unity for help now..Here’s his contact,Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail. com

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